Migraine And Other Headaches

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  • Publish Date: 2004-03-01
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: William B. Young MD;Stephen D. Silberstein MD

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Headache is the most common complaint for which people see neurologists and the seventh most common reason they visit their primary care doctors. It is the third most common cause of missed work, and can seriously undermine the quality of life if not effectively managed.

Migraine and Other Headaches is the essential guide for everyone who suffers from headaches, and will provide the information needed to obtain effective medical care and long-term relief. Different types of headache are thoroughly explained in easy to understand language, beginning with migraine, the most common severe headache, which occurs in approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population. The authors discuss the different types of migraine: migraine without aura (previously called common migraine), migraine with aura, and basilar migraine. Emphasis is placed on the necessity of early treatment, the importance of understanding the difference between a headache cause and a headache trigger, and how to avoid common triggers. Rebound headache, caused by the overuse of acute medication, is a topic of special significance and is discussed in detail.

The book also considers tension-type headache, the most common primary headache disorder - 80 percent of us will have a tension-type headache at some time in our lives, cluster headache, unusual headaches, non-headache illnesses that frequently accompany headache, sinus headache, disorders of the neck, post-traumatic headache, and atypical facial pain and trigeminal neuralgia.

Treatment options for all types of headache are thoroughly discussed, including the treatment of migraine with medications that can be taken daily to help prevent headache, stop headache pain once it has begun, and prevent worsening of headaches. Responses to medication - both prescription and nonprescription - are highly individualized, and the physician will work with the headache sufferer in order to determine the most beneficial medication options. Managing headache pain goes beyond simply popping pills and, therefore, lifestyle issues are considered, including the possibility of depression or other psychological factors, and family relationships. The doctor may recommend changes in diet in order to avoid triggers, exercise, change in sleeping patterns, or relaxation techniques. Also included is information about alternative therapies, such as vitamins and herbal supplements, physical therapy, acupressure, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, hydrotherapy, and yoga. Also covered are behavioral treatments, such as stress-management training and psychotherapy.

Emphasis is placed on the importance of the doctor/patient relationship should be a partnership with open communication, with the patient communicating goals and desires about the preferred headache management, the doctor contributing knowledge and values, and the final plan incorporating both perspectives.

Migraines and Headaches will help those suffering with headaches, and those who care for them, to gain a deeper understanding of what is known about headache and what is not known, allowing them to explore diagnosis and treatment with this knowledge in hand. It is the first volume in a new series sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology, An AAN Press Quality of Life Guide.

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